Natural colourings - increase ratio of powder to oil or add more of the infused oil?!

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Debs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
75
Reaction score
46
Location
Plymouth Devon - UK
Sorry for the long title!!
HI! I am hoping to get a little help with concentrating my colours - or, actually getting some!! I want to use natural ingredients as far as possible and so with my newly purchased alkanet root and nettle powder I followed various suggestions of how to infuse oil with the natural colourants. I added 2 tablespoons of nettle powder in 5oz OO, shook once a day for 6 weeks then added one tablespoon of that oil into my base mix. I am still only experimenting so my recipe is 18 oz of oils and butters in total, of which 9 oz is oo. The colour looked like an off white.
I did the same using alkanet root but added 3 tablespoons of root to 5 oz OO and did the same as above and gained a greyish blue off white.
In order for me to get a more distinct pink/ purple and a green colour would you suggest I up the powder/root in the 5 oz of oil or up the amount of infused oil in my base?!!! After seeing pics of some lovely soaps on this site, especially by someone who experimented with herbs and shared all the details I was a little disappointed.....not to be put off I will try again but hoped I'd get a little help before hand. Thanks everyone!!
Debs
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,331
Reaction score
8,177
Location
Idaho, USA
I would use more of the infused oil. When I was using natural colors, I used a full 2 oz of infused oil per color and always got a nice shade. So your recipe with 9 oz of OO would turn into 2 oz infused OO, 7 oz regular OO.
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,715
Reaction score
9,221
Location
Texas
I use a heat infusion method. I put about 1 oz paprika in about 6-8 oz OO in a jar, then put it into a pot with a dish cloth or something to keep the bottom of the jar from touching the pot. Add the lid, then add water to the pot to come up at least half way up, bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer about half an hour, then turn the heat off and let it come to room temperature. I let mine sit overnight to let the paprika settle, then pour it off. I just use enough colored oil to get the color I want. Maybe this method will work for you on those.
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
I would use more of the infused oil. When I was using natural colors, I used a full 2 oz of infused oil per color and always got a nice shade. So your recipe with 9 oz of OO would turn into 2 oz infused OO, 7 oz regular OO.
This is what I do when trying a new color. Plus I dont add the regular OO until I get the shade that I like. So 1 oz, mix, check color, add another oz, mix and check. When you get the shade you want, you can add the rest of the uncolored OO. I hope that makes sense...
 

Debs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
75
Reaction score
46
Location
Plymouth Devon - UK
This is what I do when trying a new color. Plus I dont add the regular OO until I get the shade that I like. So 1 oz, mix, check color, add another oz, mix and check. When you get the shade you want, you can add the rest of the uncolored OO. I hope that makes sense...
Ah OK - I assumed the colour would change more during saponification but what you are saying is I should be able to see the colour i am going to get in the pan before hand.......doesn't adding the uncoloured OO weaken the colour??

Another Q - do you both weigh your infused oil out into ounce measurements so you are accurate or just weigh the original jar with the infused oil in before and after adding what you want and doing a bit of maths?

Will try this method at the weekend -
Thank you !!
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,715
Reaction score
9,221
Location
Texas
Not Seawolfe, but:

1. Yes, it does weaken the color a bit. You need to account for that when adding the oil. You get stronger colors with gelled soap, also.

2. I tare the scale with my bowl of oils on it before adding the colored oil, so I know how much I added, then I add the remainder of the uncolored oil needed for the recipe.
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,460
Reaction score
4,251
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
Ah OK - I assumed the colour would change more during saponification but what you are saying is I should be able to see the colour i am going to get in the pan before hand.......doesn't adding the uncoloured OO weaken the colour??

Another Q - do you both weigh your infused oil out into ounce measurements so you are accurate or just weigh the original jar with the infused oil in before and after adding what you want and doing a bit of maths?

Will try this method at the weekend -
Thank you !!
I use the heat method like Susie and measure like Susie but I added 5 oz of infused olive oil to One 1 kg batch as part of my OO. Got a good colour at first but it fades over time as do most natural colourants.
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
I have a sneaking suspicion Susie and I share a brain, our soapy ways are the same.

Not Seawolfe, but:

1. Yes, it does weaken the color a bit. You need to account for that when adding the oil. You get stronger colors with gelled soap, also.

2. I tare the scale with my bowl of oils on it before adding the colored oil, so I know how much I added, then I add the remainder of the uncolored oil needed for the recipe.
With natural colorants, you will never get an exact recipe that will work the same for you, there's to many variables. So create a method with that in mind.
 

Debs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
75
Reaction score
46
Location
Plymouth Devon - UK
Not Seawolfe, but:

1. Yes, it does weaken the color a bit. You need to account for that when adding the oil. You get stronger colors with gelled soap, also.

2. I tare the scale with my bowl of oils on it before adding the colored oil, so I know how much I added, then I add the remainder of the uncolored oil needed for the recipe.
Of course silly me!!! I guess I am still at the 'scared' point where I daren't add oils to oils in case I go over and it goes horribly wrong!!

will have a go this weekend as I need to try out my new soap cutter - too excited!!!

Thanks for all the replies :)
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
LOL when I was at the "scared to pour oil directly in the soap batter" stage, I would fill disposable cups with 2 oz increments of colored and uncolored oil. That made it easy to see how much I had used and how much I had to go. Any I didnt use went back in their containers.

Of course silly me!!! I guess I am still at the 'scared' point where I daren't add oils to oils in case I go over and it goes horribly wrong!!

will have a go this weekend as I need to try out my new soap cutter - too excited!!!

Thanks for all the replies :)
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,715
Reaction score
9,221
Location
Texas
I still measure out some things separately. It is just that ultra cautiousness in me. But, to be fair, I have had to re-size recipes to account for "oops" more than once.
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,460
Reaction score
4,251
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
Ah OK - I assumed the colour would change more during saponification but what you are saying is I should be able to see the colour i am going to get in the pan before hand.......doesn't adding the uncoloured OO weaken the colour??

Another Q - do you both weigh your infused oil out into ounce measurements so you are accurate or just weigh the original jar with the infused oil in before and after adding what you want and doing a bit of maths?

Will try this method at the weekend -
Thank you !!
I think the colour you get in the batter changes after saponification. At least it did for me. The reason I weighed out the infused oil was so I could replicate the process but as seawolf said there are so many variables when using natural ingredients replicating it exactly is nearly impossible.

In total the amount of oil and infused oil have to measure exactly in grams what the recipe says. All your ingredients should be really exact or you will get sticky or soft soap.

Just know natural colours will fade, quite quickly.
 

Debs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
75
Reaction score
46
Location
Plymouth Devon - UK
Another good idea - thanks Seawolfe.

Susie I'm not too sure i could re size off the top of my head yet! I'm still at the stage of checking the amounts of everything twice! couldn't do that when I experimented with cocoa powder though..... I added cocoa powder as a strip inside to see what it would look like and I got chocolate everywhere...i used a small tea strainer to shake it in my mold, not really thinking, and then I had cocoa on my hands, then on my glasses as nervously I'd reached up and pushed them up my nose...what a mess LOL!! Then the dog came in to see what I was lamenting about....tried to help me clear it up ..chased her out ....oh dear me!!

Penelpejane - Good advice thanks. I also try and make a note of what I add to what...didn't quite go to plan with the cocoa powder though - got too complacent thinking i'd just shake some in....ah well all learning experiences.

Hi
Following on from a discussion I started a few days ago/yesterday??? about infused oils and whether to add more of it.....I went to use my infused oil which has been standing for 8 weeks now. I used some at 6 weeks and no problems but now at 8 weeks both the OO infused with nettle powder and the OO infused with alkanet root, and the one infused with paprika seems to have a swirl of...'fog' in it. Unsure whether this is still ok to use??? Should i have strained the infused oil and taken out the powder/root residue at 6 weeks and then left any left over oil in the fridge or is the 'swirl' just residue and is ok to use???
Was going to up the amounts of infused oil to my recipe as suggested this evening but will wait until I read replies/suggestions/advice.

Thanks in advance!! UK time is now evening so I will hopefully wake to find answers have magically appeared over night!!!! Debs
 

Millie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2016
Messages
874
Reaction score
904
Did you get a cold spell? Probably just some fatty acids solidifying
 

Debs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
75
Reaction score
46
Location
Plymouth Devon - UK
Thanks Millie - yes we did and it is sitting on the kitchen window sill which is blooming freezing. Excellent, I am now going to go and use it up!!
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,715
Reaction score
9,221
Location
Texas
Susie I'm not too sure i could re size off the top of my head yet! I'm still at the stage of checking the amounts of everything twice! couldn't do that when I experimented with cocoa powder though..... Debs
Nope, me neither. I leave soapee.com open on my computer with that recipe pulled up while I soap. If I drop too much of something into that bowl, I dash the 12 feet to the computer, and re-run that recipe. Print it out, and dash back. I never, ever use a recipe that has not been run through a lye calculator.

I have never used anything infused except paprika. I can make quite a few colors just with that oil by varying the amounts. I still use it, even with micas in the house. Paprika colors do not fade. They may fade if exposed to sunlight, but none of my old bars have faded. I even have a small piece of the first bar I made with it, and no fading.
 

Soapprentice

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
522
Reaction score
417
Location
Telangana, India
Sorry for hijacking the thread but this gives rise to the question
If we are adding multiple colours, and we separate at emulsion and add coloured oils, which of the following is better?
1. Calculate the lye for the oils that will be added at emulsion and keeping the super fat at 5% for the recipe
2. Keeping the super fat at 0% without adding the oils that will be added for colour to the recipe?
 

Millie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2016
Messages
874
Reaction score
904
The one time I did a color swirl with infused oils, I made separate batches and swirled them together. The amount of infused oil I needed was way more than a superfat. I think you'd have to do a solid color batch first with each infusion to see how much colored oil you'll need and make calculations from there.

To complicate things, you might need lots from your annato and just a little from your madder, as an example, depending on the color you are aiming for and the strength of your infusion, so making separate batches might be necessary on occassion.

*I use pigments and micas, so much easier but I admire you all for sticking to that natural thing ;)
 
Last edited:

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,715
Reaction score
9,221
Location
Texas
The one time I did a color swirl with infused oils, I made seperate batches and swirled them together. The amount of infused oil I needed was way more than a superfat. I think you'd have to do a solid color batch first with each infusion to see how much colored oil you'll need and make calculations from there.
^^^What Millie said! I would never be able to figure out ahead of time exactly how much oil each color will take. I would make separate batches.

Or I would keep to a simple two color design where I would make the whole batch with the colored oil, then add cocoa to part of the batter to make part brown.
 

Latest posts

Top